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DEEBOT NEO 2.0 PLUS review: Split personalities

Add an extra half star if you're looking at the Aldi price

DEEBOT NEO 2.0 PLUS
Ecovacs DEEBOT NEO 2.0 PLUS
Our Rating
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Performance
3.8 out of 5 stars
3.75
Design
3.3 out of 5 stars
3.3
Expert testing
3.7 out of 5 stars
3.65

Prices are accurate as of the publish date. We may earn money if you purchase something through one of these links. Click as many as you want.

Anula Wiwatowska
Jun 12, 2024
Icon Time To Read4 min read
Quick verdict: Ecovacs DEEBOT NEO 2.0 PLUS

Robot vacuum cleaners can feel as if they have their own unique personalities; the Dyson Vis Nav is a lovable buffoon, and the Roborock S8 MaxV Ultra is an independent eldest child. Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus doesn’t just have one personality, it has two. With two different voices, two different price points, and completely independent mopping and vacuuming functions, the Neo 2.0’s quirks are perplexing but not necessarily a deal breaker.

pro
Pros
pro Good price, especially in the Aldi sale
pro Navigation and mapping is quite good
pro Relatively reliable
con
Cons
con The whole mopping mess
con Set up requires patience
con Some communications quirks
ecovacs neo 2.0 plus

Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus: Mopping performance

While most dual-function robot vacuums will blend the two together, the Neo 2.0 Plus splits its mopping and vacuuming duties. Most robot vacuums have smart carpet detection, and will lift the mop head away from the floor while on soft surfaces. This allows the robot to get all the cleaning done in one go, rather than roping you in to changing attachments. The Neo 2.0 Plus compartmentalises these features in a different way, by simply avoiding carpets all together when the mop head is attached.

It will still mop and vacuum hard floors simultaneously, but if you have mixed flooring the carpeted areas will be ignored by default if the mop is attached. This is an annoying feature, but realistically you won’t miss out on much if you decide to forgo the mopping function all together. Mop design in robot vacuums has come a long way - some have extendable mop arms, others vibrate, and others have self-cleaning stations, but this one is still somewhat stuck behind. Equipped with a simple microfibre pad, and only suitable for use with cool water, the mopping efficiency is bareboned. It is better than nothing, but not by much. I also noticed my unit leaking at the base station, and since it doesn’t come with a drip tray, water was just pooling on my hardwood floors. Personally I’d leave my mopping to more specialised devices, especially because the vacuum performance on the Neo 2.0 Plus is excellent.

Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus: Vacuuming performance

In our testing we found that the device handled both small, and medium debris without issues. Even though it doesn’t have specialised edge technology it still manages to clean relatively close to walls and corners. It handles little bumps like lips, and rugs well, and can generally manoeuvre the house reliably. It doesn’t have great obstacle detection though, so it does tend to bump into furniture more than premium robot vacuum cleaners, but that is to be expected for the price.

All around cleaning is a tad slower than other vacuums we’ve tested, with the robovac taking just over an hour to complete 33m2. The battery is made to be able to handle these longer stints, and even if it can’t, the Deebot will return to the auto-empty station to charge mid clean if need be. When it does auto-empty it empties the dustbin reliably, but the process is louder than expected. It shocked me, and set off my dog the first time it completed a cycle. I’d steer clear of sending the Neo 2.0 Plus around at night, unless you’re also in the market for a booming alarm.

Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus: Intelligence

There is no doubt that the Neo 2.0 Plus’ smarts cultivate a smoother user experience, but in some ways the device lacks common sense. Mapping and navigation are above average for this price point, but the set up and obstacle detection are touch and go, and then there is the bot’s tendency to slip between voices.

Mapping has improved since I last reviewed an Ecovacs Deebot. Generally the device did a solid job identifying floor types, and separating rooms out in the app. There were a few hiccups at first, like when the Neo was yelling at me to remove the mop head because it was on carpet, when it was in fact 40cm from its dock on the hard floor, or when it labelled my bed as a room unto itself, or when it got stuck on a plate on the floor and once again thought it was on carpet.

Most of these issues would be improved with better object detection and avoidance. In higher end robot vacuums you tend to get a softer touch due to avoidance features that stop the robovac from bumping into things. These can usually identify things like cables, shoes, plates, and furniture, and avoid them while labelling them on your map. Right now these kinds of features are reserved for vacuums around the $2000+ range, so the bumpiness of the Neo 2.0 is on par with what you can expect at $1000. The mapping issues can be fixed up in the app.

Despite the object non-avoidance, the Neo navigates spaces quite well. It can manouever around chair legs and curtains with ease, so you shouldn’t have to spend your time chasing it around and saving it from itself. If it does need assistance however, it will call out to you, and it may use a different voice depending on the error. Sometimes you’ll get a reply in an american accent, and other times in an asian accent. This is especially prevalent during setup, which only adds to the tedious process.

Ecovacs makes excellent robot vacuum cleaners, but out of the five Deebots I have owned or tested, not one has ever been set up properly on the first go. It took three attempts to get the Neo 2.0 Plus connected to my home network, and even on the third I may have just lucked out. Even though the Ecovacs Home app told me the setup had failed, when I closed and reopened the app the Neo was there and ready to go.

Luckily you only need to get your robot vacuum cleaner connected once, but be warned that it could be a finicky process. 

How much does Ecovacs Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus cost?

Ordinarily the Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus retails for $999, and is available through the Ecovacs online store. However, as part of the robot vacuum brand's ongoing relationship with ALDI, this vacuum is on sale at ALDI for just $499 from Wednesday, June 19th.

Retailer
Ecovacs
Aldi

Prices are accurate as of the publish date. We may earn money if you purchase something through one of these links.

Is the Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus worth buying?

The Deebot Neo 2.0 Plus is a little bit behind other robot vacuum cleaners at the $1000 price point. The user experience feels unpolished, almost like you’re in a beta trial rather than a finished product. Multiple voices, and a janky set up aren’t the be all and end all, but it does make the Deebot feel less put together than it is.

It is much the same with the mopping process. Many other vacuums at this point have carpet recognition that simply lifts the mop head out of the way, rather than avoiding it all together. Ecovacs doesn’t offer it at this price point, but others like Xiaomi and Roborock do. If you have mixed flooring, the hassle of taking the mop head on, and off will quickly become an annoyance.

All that being said, it is important to look at the actual price along with the recommended retail price. Right now Ecovacs and ALDI have split the asking price in half - entirely changing the value proposition. What feels unpolished for a $1000 price tag becomes more palatable at a $500 one. Finding an auto-empty station, reliable mapping, and spot on navigation is rare at this price, and the benefits outweigh the eccentricities.

Robot vacuum cleaners compared

Australia has a bunch of robot vacuum cleaners available on the market, starting as low as $300 if you can get a good deal. We have reviewed and rated more than 20 units over the past few years. Here are how the most recent robovacs compare.
Anula Wiwatowska
Written by
Anula Wiwatowska
Anula is the Content and Social Media Editor within the Reviews.org extended universe. Working in the tech space since 2020, she covers phone and internet plans, gadgets, smart devices, and the intersection of technology and culture. Anula was a finalist for Best Feature Writer at the 2022 Consensus Awards, and an eight time finalist across categories at the IT Journalism Awards. Her work contributed to WhistleOut's Best Consumer Coverage win in 2023.

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